Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan has won the Bill Masterton Trophy as the NHL's player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.
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Ryan edged out Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom and Dallas Stars defenseman Stephen Johns to earn the award.
Ryan was forced to leave the Sens mid-season in order to deal with what at the time were simply dubbed "personal issues". He returned to his team's lineup and was upfront in talking about his struggles with alcoholism. In his first game back, you may remember that Ryan put on an absolute show in scoring a hat trick and earned a victory over the visiting Vancouver Canucks. The Ottawa fans showed their support for Ryan by chanting his name over and over.
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Goosebumps... just a magical moment.
Even better, because there's no NHL Awards this year, let's let Bobby give us his acceptable speech via Zoom:
"I took a detour... but I'm back."
Incredible. Ryan is a very deserving winner.
Now... having said all that... Oskar Lindblom was robbed. Am I a dick for saying that? Maybe. Am I the only one who thinks it? Hell no.
The fact of the matter is that Lindblom, at just 24 years old, was diagnosed with bone cancer and not only did he beat the disease, he managed to get himself back into the lineup for the Flyers this postseason. The fact that this kid not only is alive, but that he's playing in the NHL is a legitimate miracle. With all due respect to Bobby Ryan and Stephen Johns, Oskar Lindblom was the most deserving candidate for the award this year. Period.